"South Newcastle Boardriders 30th Anniversary Show"
The Celibate Rifles
+ The Ride-Ons
+ Sandpaper
Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle West,
November 28, 2009

At 1700 on Saturday afternoon most of Newcastle city suffered a blackout. First thoughts were that maybe it was due to and coincided with the Celies’ sound check but a sighting of Michael Couvret in the local Coles at the same time put rest to that theory.

The first support were Sandpaper, a re-formed local band who had quite a committed following in Newcastle through the '90s. They recorded prolifically in their first incarnation, perhaps they’ll continue this noting that singer/guitarist Geoff Mullard runs a popular local recording and rehearsal studio these days.

I only briefly saw the Ride-Ons. The crowd were certainly into them. The Ride-Ons are very reminiscent of the popular Newcastle music scene in the mid 90s, not suprising since apparently some of the band members were previously in local groups Hound and Vaseline Machine Gun, both familiar names at the Jolly Roger and The Castle during that period. Ex-Screaming Tribesmen/Harpoon/current Hitman Murray Shepherd is on drums.

The Rifles came on stage at about 2300. Their single set, including a short encore, was only about 90-minutes long. This was an excellent set but the very enthusiastic crowd probably would have liked them to of played a bit longer for the $25 entry.

I'm yet to see a bad Rifles show and this gig was no exception. One of the great aspects of the show was one committed fan's provision of very animated improvised sign language of the lyrics for most of the set.

The song selections stretched over their lengthy back catalogue, especially "Blind Ear". Some of the highlights were "Cycle", "City of Hope", "Johnny", "World Keeps Turning", "Buttland", "Ocean Shore", and the set-closing classic, "Electravision Mantra".

A great show and hopefully the Rifles will return soon. - DYLAN WEBSTER